After a slow start, Essendon VFL emerged victors over the Blues thanks to a dominant second half, featuring some stellar individual efforts. breaks down the performances of the 12 AFL-listed Bombers from a thrilling comeback win.

Dylan Shiel

18 disposals, 10 clearances, one goal

Got off to a fast start with a clean snap on his opposite side, opening the scoring within the first 20 seconds.

The Blues negated some of his impact through the first half, but the experienced midfielder worked his way into the contest as his side began to surge, looking strong at clearances and generating important attack.

Shiel’s put together a solid block in the reserves after a lengthy injury layoff and is having a big impact on his younger teammates with his professionalism and consistency.

Sam Weideman

14 disposals, seven marks

Playing with confidence since moving to the back half, looking commanding in the air and composed with ball in hand.

Senior Coach Blake Caracella praised his leadership for the younger defenders after the round eight win over North Melbourne, and it’s been just as clear in the following weeks.

He was influential when the game got particularly close on Sunday and was critical in steadying the ship late.

Lewis Hayes

13 disposals, two marks, two tackles

Had his hands full like most of the defensive corps in the first half, with sheer volume of entries from Carlton causing issues.

As it’s been all season, he fought really strongly in the air and had some notable follow-up efforts on Sunday, including a crucial contested mark deep in defence during the dying minutes as we defended our lead.

He’s been dependable over the last month.


Nick Bryan

39 hit-outs, 22 disposals, eight clearances

Typically dominant in the ruck this week.

With Todd Goldstein back for the seniors, the VFL squad got a real boost from having Bryan back in the mix, giving first use for Shiel, Xavier O’Neill and Jackson Hately pretty frequently.

His ability to force inside 50’s from winning clearances and taking the footy straight out of the ruck has been focal to his good form this year and it was noticeable again when the momentum was in our favour through the second half.

Nate Caddy

13 disposals, six marks, three goals

When we needed a spark, Nate provided it in spades.

After missing last week through illness, Sunday provided his first action in-game following the AFL debut against Richmond, and he’s looking more comfortable with each game he plays.

The Blues put some hefty attention into him, double-teaming and cutting off leading patterns, but Caddy compensated with some strong contested efforts, including back-to-back goals to open the third term from pack marks.

He’s in great touch heading into the bye.


Alwyn Davey Jnr

16 disposals, four tackles, one goal

Alwyn’s impact on the game was bigger than the stat line would suggest.

After a solid block of time in the seniors, he looked confident providing dash through the middle even when the Blues were on top and finished off his work when his hard running was rewarded with a terrific team goal in the third quarter.

Taking on tacklers and getting himself in the right spots, he played an important hand in the win.

Luamon Lual

19 disposals, six marks, three tackles

Despite some occasional turnovers ahead of centre, his defensive fight and repeat efforts were really prominent again.

Lual’s looking to get more dangerous and take the game on in recent weeks and it’s becoming more apparent, gathering more footy in advanced areas of the ground.

Halving one-on-one’s down the stretch and providing important cover off half-back, he’s been developing nicely in the last few weeks.

Saad El-Hawli

27 disposals, eight marks, four goals

Started well, but was absolutely electric after half-time and the most impactful player on the ground.

His ability to go forward and impact was on display, going on a 10-minute burst in the third term to kick three of our goals in a row and break the contest open.

Around the ground, he showed real strength in the air with his contested marking and looked to inject some run-and-carry when we were struggling early.


Jayden Davey

10 disposals, four tackles, two goals

After a couple of quiet weeks, Jayden responded with glimpses of his best on Sunday.

He kicked a brilliant snap goal to open the second term and looked a lot more threatening when opportunities fell his way inside 50, earning himself a free kick to slot a second before half-time.

Pressure in the forward half was another promising step forward this week – he’ll be keen to build on this performance after the bye.

Archie Roberts

Four disposals, one tackle

Archie started a little quiet but was rested at half-time as a carryover emergency for the AFL game later that night.

He’s had a promising first half to his debut campaign in the reserves and has plenty of room for growth following the break.

Vigo Visentini

Five hit-outs, two disposals

Struggled to work into the game after a good month of form.

With Bryan taking the primary ruck duties and Will Hoare moving forward to partner Caddy after half-time, opportunities came a little more sparsely for him this week.

Tex Wanganeen

12 disposals, one goal

A move to defence invited more opportunities for Tex with ball in hand and he looked promising with it this week.

His late game-winner showed all the craft and skill he’s capable of at his best and he’ll get better as the weeks roll on.